Monday, 24 January 2011

Sexual and reproductive rights - a reality or utopia

An international round-table on sexual and reproductive rights (SRR) was organized by Slovene Philanthropy and Platform Sloga on 14th of January 2011 in Ljubljana.

As an introduction to the roundtable Ms Immaculate Owachaalli and her colleagues (Sunny Skies Women’s Project, Uganda) discussed about problems and challenges they are facing in relations to sexual and reproductive rights in Uganda, such as high mortality rate of women, high fertility rate (6.9 births per women), low levels of contraceptive use (only 15%), widespread sexual transmitted diseases. Furthermore, they presented the project, which is done in cooperation with Slovene Philanthropy. Their objectives are empowering women in Uganda, raising awareness on sexual and reproductive health and achieving greater economic independence of women (e.g. they are part of Global Fair Trade by making unique products from paper beads).

Ms Hilde Kroes (World Population Foundation, Netherlands) and Ms Zupan (Slovene Philanthropy), discussed about the enforcement of the SRR at the international level – e.g. the documents adopted by the UN, the EU mandate, the role of non-governmental sector, and the importance of implementation, monitoring and financing activities in the area of SRR.

Ms Sonja Lokar (European Network on Gender Equality) discussed about importance of empowering women as means to attain goals faster, especially through their political participation, focusing on the case of South-Eastern Europe. Ms Spela Veselic (SOS Telefon) presented experiences in the area of prevention violence against women. Lastly, Ms Dunja Obersnel Kveder (Slovene Philanthropy) presented the concept and development of the SSR, curriculum areas, the most frequent violations in this area, situation in Slovenia and the importance of advocacy in support of the SRR.

In conclusion, all speakers emphasized that SRR are fundamental human rights and are bases for successful and effective solving of health problems, gender inequality and further development of any country.

Information provided by Nina Perovic, Sloga

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